My Trip to Panama City Beach - Beware the Best Friend! - My Family Travels

The summer before my freshman year of high school, my grandparents decided that they wanted to take a vacation with our whole family. We decided to rent a beach house with enough room for the whole family in Panama City Beach, Florida. I was very excited when my mom told me that I could bring a friend along because my cousins and I aren’t that close in age and she didn’t want me to be bored.

I decided to invite my best friend at that time to come with me; I couldn’t have even started to speculate the misery I would later experience. It must be said that I am easily irritated; it really doesn’t take much to annoy me. However, my levels of irritation with this former best friend were off-the-charts while we were on the plane.

Generally, I am one to fall asleep on planes, and I like to relax, maybe reading a novel or listening to music. Unfortunately, I found that this was impossible with the constant jabbering in my ear, the tugging at my headphones, and the poking whenever I’d drifted off into dreamland. I told myself when our flight from O’Hare to Atlanta landed that she was just excited, and that it would be fine once we were actually on the beach.

I have never been more wrong in my life. We boarded our flight to Panama City, and I was beginning to have a bad feeling. We landed in Panama City, found our luggage, rented our car, stopped to get some dinner, and found the house.

That was the beginning of the end. We arrived at the absolutely beautiful ocean-front house at which we would stay with my family, and my grandparents had already arrived. My friend and I chose the room with two full beds, and we began to unpack; needless to say, her stuff was literally all over our room, much to my chagrin.

My aunt and uncle then arrived with my cousins (they drove from Chicago), and my friend introduced herself. My family liked that she was outgoing, but they would soon change their thoughts. The first few days were spent on the beach, and can be summed up as me trying to lay on a lounge chair, attempting to roast my pale skin to a golden brown, with my friend constantly pulling me up, poking me to run on the beach with her, or to go in the water, or whatever. I honestly just wanted to relax, and she could not respect that. It got worse when we went shopping with my mom, aunt, and grandma.

My friend had her heart set on getting a henna tattoo, and my mom said we’d find a place for that. We picked out which henna tattoos we each wanted, and my friend decided to pick two. Once the henna artist was finished (the tattoos did not come out too great, for the record), we discovered that we’d been ripped off when our bill came up to about $90 — only $10 of which had been mine, by the way.

My mom felt guilty letting my friend pay that much for stupid henna, so she paid for both of us. I was a little irritated, but even more so when my friend essentially wiped off the henna on her back when she got into my aunt’s car, and in the process got henna all over my aunt’s back seat.To make it even better, my cousin Molly, who at the time was 4 or 5, wanted to sleep in our room that night, and my friend told her that she couldn’t; my cousin ended up crying hysterically. I let Molly sleep in my bed, and the next day on the beach was a bit tense, to say the least.

My friend started getting on everyone’s nerves, but at the point, she had reached my last nerve. The next few days, she was just plain annoying and demanding, ordering the most expensive items at dinner and saying rude things to my younger cousins. The flight back was a relief, because I realized I only had a few more hours to spend with her. We are no longer good friends now, and I’ve found the moral of this story. Be careful when bringing friends on vacation; it can break up friendships, prevent fun and relaxation, and cause small children to cry. My vacation would have been better-spent with just my family!

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